Senate Votes To Repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – Gays Will Now Openly Serve In The U.S. Military

The latest headlines from The Most Important News….

The U.S. Senate on Saturday voted to let gays serve openly in the military, giving Barack Obama the chance to fulfill a campaign promise and repeal the 17-year policy known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

The U.N. Security Council began an emergency meeting Sunday in hopes of preventing the escalating crisis on the Korean peninsula from spiraling out of control.

The U.S. military is concerned that South Korea’s live-fire artillery exercises planned for coming days could spark an uncontrollable clash with the North, but the State Department said the exercises are not meant to be threatening or provocative.

Amid South Korean plans to hold live-fire military drills this week and North Korean threats of retaliation, many residents of Yeonpyeong Island are evacuating, afraid of being caught in the middle.

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says that the United States is “very ready” to counter Iran should it make a move.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, incoming chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, blasted the Obama administration on Wednesday for giving the Palestinian Authority a “blank check” while pressuring Israel.

10 EU countries are reportedly set to upgrade the status of Palestinian representative offices in their capitals to full blown embassies in the near future, chief Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat declared on Sunday.

The U.S. government is “greatly expanding” its use of private security companies in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

The number of deaths in Mexico’s vicious four-year drug gang war has soared past 30,000, authorities said on Thursday, with 12,456 fatalities this year alone.

Barack Obama has renewed his call for US senators to ratify an arms control treaty with Russia before the Democratic-led Congress breaks up.

China is believed to be building two 50,000-60,000-ton aircraft carriers at Changxingdao Shipyard, the world’s biggest, in Shanghai and is expected to launch one in 2014.

In Greece, clouds of tear gas mingled with smoke in Athens and a former minister was reportedly hurt as police and stone-throwing protesters clashed recently during a demonstration against new austerity measures.

In order to repay maturing bonds and finance the massive budget deficit, the U.S. government will have to borrow 4.2 trillion dollars in 2011.

Regulators shuttered six banks holding a total of $1.23 billion in assets on Friday, including three in Georgia and one each in Arkansas, Minnesota and Florida, as real estate losses drove this year’s bank failures to 157.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois) says that the United States has become a banana republic, where a few elites flourish and everyone else have nothing.

Did extreme income inequality help cause the most recent financial crisis.

China is once again flexing its newfound economic muscle. This time by announcing that it will be raising export tariffs on rare earth metals at the beginning of the year.

A small-town bank in Oklahoma said the Federal Reserve won’t let it keep religious signs and symbols on display.

The Food and Drug Administration has announced that it will ration the late-stage cancer drug Avastin for breast cancer patients.

U.S. drone aircraft launched series of strikes in a Pakistani tribal region on Friday and killed 35 people, local TV channels reported.

U.S. officials say they have no specific and credible information about planned terror attacks on the United States, but they have issued an intelligence bulletin to state and local law enforcement warning terrorists could target large crowds at holiday gatherings.

TSA agents at a Houston airport failed to stop an Iranian-American with a loaded handgun passing through security and boarding a plane, yet they did stop a woman directly behind him who was carrying liquids in her hand luggage.

Construction workers in New York now need permission from the TSA and DHS in order to practice their profession and earn a living.

Former Federal Bureau of Investigation agents are helping local authorities turn thousands of garbage collectors into a spy force that reports to the police.

Computers are starting to be developed that have the capability to read minds.

According to a recent Reuters report, a group of European campaigners has presented a petition to the European Commission with over a million signatures opposing the approval of any more GM crops.

It turns out that much of the data cited to support claims that this is the warmest year on record is based on pure conjecture.

The jet stream is helping to generate record breaking temperatures across parts of Canada’s north and bringing cold conditions to countries in Europe.

2010 was one of the craziest years for natural disasters in modern history.

In the UK, a street preacher wrongly arrested for saying homosexuality is a sin has won substantial damages as police chiefs issue new guidelines telling officers to be more thick-skinned.

The European Commission has come under fire for producing more than three million copies of an EU diary for secondary schools which contains no reference to Christmas but includes Jewish, Hindu, Sikh and Muslim festivities.

A new Gallup poll reveals that 40 percent of Americans believe in creationism.

Korean religious leaders met Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday to exchange views on promoting inter-faith harmony with the Vatican.

In the UK, Christmas has been banned by the Red Cross from its 430 fund-raising shops.

Palestinians vandalized Joshua’s Tomb in Samaria’s Timnat Heres with Arabic graffiti overnight Thursday.

The UN refugee agency says that thousands of Iraqi Christians are fleeing from central provinces of the country.

The White House on Thursday said the controversial field of synthetic biology, or manipulating the DNA of organisms to forge new life forms, poses limited risks and should be allowed to proceed.

Barack Obama’s job approval rating among liberal Democrats has fallen below 80 percent for the first time, a Gallup poll has found.

Lastly, outgoing California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says that he would consider a post in the Obama administration.

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